For each issue of Literary Mama, Literary Reflections shares a writing prompt, inviting our readers to respond. Our editors provide feedback on the responses we receive and we post our favorites on the blog. This month’s writing prompt is inspired by Meagan Schultz’s essay, “A Love Letter to My Tribe,” and Lisa Katzenberger’s essay, “Writing After the Storm.”
In “Writing After the Storm,” Lisa Katzenberger describes sinking into depression and losing the motivation to write after the birth of her twins. Once the kids get a little older and more independent, however, and Katzenberger gets her depression under control, she returns to the page, finding her niche in writing for children. At first she worries that she’s being selfish for taking time to write while her kids entertain themselves. “But as it turns out,” she writes, “the kids didn’t miss me, and I became a stronger mother because I was pursuing my passion. My patience increased. My sense of accomplishment skyrocketed.” That passion and sense of accomplishment motivate Katzenberger to write.
In “A Love Letter to My Tribe,” Meagan Schultz describes finding motivation for writing from another source—the writing group that formed among the participants in an online writing class. “For now, we remain a collective hodgepodge of mother writers meeting late at night, or sometimes early in the morning” Schultz writes. “Stealing hours, sometimes under covers, sometimes in our basements, in the writing spaces we’ve fashioned out of crates, or laundry tables, or closets. We come because we are called to the page, because we need to share our stories. But now we call each other. I sit down, in part, because my friends ask how my story ends, or how it continues, why it started, and where I’ll take it.”
We often have more reasons to not write than to write, and, as mothers especially, seemingly insurmountable obstacles between ourselves and our notebooks or laptops. What motivates you to keep writing? Is it the satisfaction that comes with finishing a story or essay? A group of writer friends cheering you on? Or something else altogether?
Read Schultz’s and Katzenberger’s essays and submit a 500-word response to this writing prompt by March 7, 2016 for feedback from our editors. Email it to LMreflections (at) literarymama (dot) com and note “February Prompt” in your subject line.